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Internal Hemorrhoids Explained

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Updated June 21, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Hemorrhoids Image, Hemorrhoid Image, Bloody Pile Image, Bloody Piles,

Internal Hemorrhoids

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Definition: A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein in or around the rectum. If a hemorrhoid is inside the rectal vault -- rather than outside the anus where they are visible -- it is called an internal hemorrhoid.

Hemorrhoids are frequently found both internally and externally, or may occur in multiples, at the same time. Internal swollen blood vessels typically don't cause symptoms and are first diagnosed when they cause bloody stool.

Internal hemorrhoids can be caused by pregnancy, straining to have a bowel movement, constipation, or other conditions that increase the pressure in the veins of the rectum, such as obesity.

Hemorrhoids can be treated in many ways, including treating the pain with numbing ointments that also reduce the size of the blood vessel, a stool softener/dietary changes to decrease constipation, or weight loss. In severe cases, the veins may be scarred to reduce swelling in an outpatient procedure, or they may be surgically treated.

Also Known As: bloody pile, pile
Common Misspellings: Hemroid, hemmroid, hemmeroid, hemrroid, hemerrhoid, hemarrhoids, hamarrhoid
Examples:
The patient developed hemorrhoids during her sixth month of pregnancy, but they resolved on their own after she gave birth.
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